The Canadian Association of Journalists has named Andrea Smith as a finalist for the JHR/APTN Emerging Indigenous Journalist Award.
Smith was recognized for her work with The Tyee during a three-month paid fellowship for Emerging Indigenous Journalists supported by Journalists for Human Rights.
“Andrea brought commitment, great story ideas and a valuable perspective to The Tyee,” said Tyee editor in chief Robyn Smith. “We were able to work closely with her on developing projects and providing mentorship.”
Andrea Smith’s work was wide-ranging, from a look at the challenges Indigenous people face in politics to a feature on a University of Calgary program that includes participation in a buffalo harvest. Her deeply researched series on Wahkohtowin shed light on a Cree way of living and its application in communities today.
“This means a lot to me,” she said. “I am very grateful to the Tyee for giving me the opportunity to share stories which I found meaningful and impactful. But I think it means even more to my family members who, because of their life circumstances never really got the chance to do something like this.”
“I feel like I came out of my mother, kicking and screaming and fighting for justice... Angry about the justice she and my relatives never saw,” Smith said. “And through writing I have always hoped to achieve that. I hope that I can continue forward on this path.”
Rachel Pulfer of Journalists for Human Rights said, “We are delighted Andrea has been nominated for her excellent work and that the CAJ is celebrating young Indigenous talent of her calibre.”
Pulfer noted the finalists include several other alumni of the fellowship program. They include Emilee Gilpin, who worked at The Tyee on a JHR fellowship in 2017.
Robyn Smith said The Tyee was proud to be part of the fellowship program, which benefits from the perspectives and insights of young Indigenous journalists while helping to develop their skills.
“It’s not enough to talk about the need for more Indigenous voices in the news media,” she said. “The program gives us a chance to bring real change.”
Tyee reporter Katie Hyslop is also a CAJ Awards finalist, nominated for the APTN/CAJ Reconciliation Award category.
Winners will be announced at the CAJ conference on May 4.